受験者( 21 ):女性

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試験官

<試験官A>

アメリカ人男性。30代前半くらい。さわやかでフレンドリー。

<試験官B>

40代〜50代前半の日本人女性。優しく、感じもよい。導入の質問のみを担当。

質疑応答

Good afternoon!

Good afternoon!

Hello!

How are you, today?

Very good! Thank you.

So, you are ........san. Where are you from?

I am from ........ ward, Tokyo.

How long did it take to get here?

It took me one and a half hours by train.

Was it easy to find this place?

Yes. This is my first time to come here, though.(以上、和やかに談笑。BはAの顔を向いてうなずく。)

So let's start the interview. Please answer my questions, assuming I am a foreign tourist.(正確な英語は忘れました。)Many people were carrying something on their shoulders at a local festival. What is that?

That's Mikoshi. It is mostly made of wood, and it is believed that god is enshrined in it. At a local festival, people carry Mikoshi and walk from the local shrine through the whole town. That's a kind of house of god,(portable shrineという言葉が出てこない。)and it is believed, if the Mikoshi has gone throughout the town, the whole town is purified.(祭りのときに、神輿が町を練り歩くことには、神聖な意味があるといいたかった。)

OK, next. What's the difference between sake and shochu?

Sake is made from rice. On the other hand, shochu is made from sweet potatoes, barley, or many other kinds of vegetables. They taste different.(Sake has a distinctive aromaが出てこない。)Sake is used as an offering to the god. It is called "Omiki" in Japanese. So sake has a sacred meaning, just like red wine in Christianity. Sake is served either hot or cold, but it is not usually mixed with other things. On the other hand, as for shochu, you can mix it with anything you want; ice, hot water, soda pops, juice, and tea.

Suppose you are in Meiji Shrine with your guests, how would you explain it?

Emperor Meiji is enshrined at Meiji Shrine. He was the emperor of the Meiji period which started in 1868. Meiji Shrine is popular among Japanese people. A lot of people visit Meiji Shrine on the New Year's Day. It is surrounded by a man-made forest and it is very beautiful.

When I visited a certain Buddhist temple, I saw a lot of pebbles in its garden. What is that for?

Well, I think the garden you saw was a dry landscape garden. Those pebbles represent water. A traditional Japanese garden depicts nature, and each item of the garden represents something. For example, stones represent islands and rocks represent mountains.

At the end of a year, Buddhist temples toll a bell 108 times. What is the meaning of that?

Excuse me?(すぐには意味がわからず、聞き返してしまう。)

Yes, 108 rings!

Oh, this is a good question.(時間稼ぎのつもりで発した言葉だったが、面接官は二人とも笑ってくれた。)Thank you! Well, in Buddhism, 108 rings mean 108 desires of human-beings; they are called "Bonnou."(sinsという単語も頭をよぎるが、やめてしまった。)In Buddhism, it is important to be free from these desires, so they toll the bell 108 times on New year's eve and celebrate a new year.(いまいち答えになっていないので、自信なさげに返答。)

What do you think is the most interesting event in Japan's history?

It is Meiji Restoration. The Tokugawa shogunate was overthrown by Emperor Meiji in 1868. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan changed drastically in terms of history, culture, and life-styles. And industrialization started since then, and it made the important basis for present Japan.(westernizationのことも言いたかったが抜ける。)So, the Meiji Restoration is the event that interests me the most.(実際には、I am interested the mostといってしまった。)

Okay. Thank you. That's all for the test.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

受験の感想

私のしどろもどろな回答にも、面接官はフレンドリーかつ、熱心に耳を傾けてくれたので、緊張することはなかった。また、難しい質問はなく、自分の知識の範囲内で答えられる内容のものばかりだった。それゆえに不合格だった場合は、原因は自分の英語力不足ということに尽きる。今日の悔しさをバネにまた一からやり直そうと思う。

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